‘Now I can move on’ WWII soldier from Spokane returns home, laid to rest

SPOKANE, Wash. — After 78 years, a Spokane native who died fighting in World War II was buried on Saturday.

Second Lieutenant Eugene P. Shauvin’s remains were finally identified after his daughter refused to give up searching for them.

After years of trying to find him, the family is happy that the veteran they know and love is finally home.

“Now i can move on to other things in my life,” Linda Shauvin, Shauvin’s daughter, said.

Linda was three years old when her father was flying a C-47 Aircraft that was shot down while flying over Belgium. Killed with other crew members in the crash, Shauvin was the only one to not be accounted for. He was not identified, later being declared as non-recoverable.

His daughter brought evidence to the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in 2003, believing it would help find her father.

Not giving up, search crews found Shauvin’s remains in 2022.

“It’s the culmination of more than 20 years of wanting this to happen and thanks to all these people here who made it happen were all here together today and it means everything to me, and I just wish my mom could be here to enjoy this, too,” Linda said.

Those who helped find Shauvin said it was worth it, honoring a man who died fighting for their country and finally getting to bring him home.

“I have to say that it started with Linda,” Howard Mariteragi, a life support investigator and wreckage analyst said. “We got to know her… we kept pushing forward because we knew that there was an opportunity for us to find this incredible pilot and repatriate him and return him home.”

Chris Nuyts was very young when she heard about the plane crash on her family’s property in Belgium. It remains a big part of her life.

“It becomes a big part of life, yes, and I hope that my children and grandchild will tell it,” Nuyts said.

Linda defied all the odds, which ended in the return of her father back home.

“I just was so determined and I thought ‘ I can’t let them stop me,'” Linda said.

Shauvin’s name is on the walls of the missing in The Netherlands, with others still missing from World War II.

A Rosette will be placed next to his name to show that he is accounted for.

RELATED: Long journey home: World War II soldier killed in action to be buried in Spokane Saturday